Hi all!

Four months have passed since last update, I shall shortly summarize what happened during this time:

  • a lot of updates to the server: kernel -> 2.6.32 + grsec, glibc 2.11, gcc 4.4
  • now running on ~amd64 gentoo
  • removal of a lot of cruft from the server: unused users, applications, databases, configuration files etc
  • shifted all partitions to XFS filesystem to allow much lesser fragmentation and much more reliability (compared to ext3); I personally don’t really care if one or two temporary files get zero-ed out upon power failure (which is extremely unlikely to happen anyway)
  • set up an automatic fully incremental backup script for the whole system based on app-backup/rdiff-backup; I will release it in few days, time needed to study a little and remove the internal references to the paths. Its name is “rdiff2ftp” because once done, it shifts everything to the FTP backup service granted by OVH
  • now running the BOINC platform to support @home distributed computing programs, specifically: [SETI@home](SETI@home) and [MilkyWay@home](MilkyWay@home); they are both sharing the same single-core processor
  • re-design the setup of the directories served by Apache webserver, which allows for much easier management of Joomla and does, in general, improve security
  • blogs were shut down, no word was ever written here anyway due to lack of interest and time; if I’ll ever need to open up one again, I know it can be easily done
  • added the link for the official forum thread for the liveCDs in the dedicated section
  • added the PayPal donation button to the site

This summary covers everything that’s been done to the server. If you ever noticed some slowdowns or out-of-service conditions, one of these tasks was being executed.

Now, some information about the next release: as stated in the official thread@gentoo forums, there is currently no reiser4 patch for 2.6.32 kernel available and I’m waiting for the rebuild time to diff it from zen-sources (hopefully working). If I’m unable to diff it I will stick with 2.6.31, though I would regret to leave out the indipendent block-device queueing introduced in 2.6.32 series.
That would be a great performance boost for the disk operations usually done from a liveCD.

Likewhoa contacted me for testing his JustBOOT liveCD generator script, I will test it without a doubt during the building of the release.

I’m also planning to wait some more time for the release: about the 15th of March should be a reasonable date. The fact is that next week university exams begin and I’ll be forced to stay away from the machines for a while. This will also provide some more time to debug and test the reiser4 code in zen-sources, which should allow for a smoother diff/transaction.

About the author

Fabio Scaccabarozzi

Ever since 2002, I experimented with Linux. After some time spent on Slackware and Mandriva, I found Gentoo, I've been using it since then and I acquired a lot of knowledge on the internals of the distribution. I have created and mantained a custom liveCD targeted to power users and systems engineers, with a lot of tools usually not included in standard distributions and exotic filesystems. I'm currently working as a senior system administrator in Zurich, Switzerland.

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